Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Shell Collecting

Yesterday, when we went ashore, I found out that Temarive and Maria were
going shell collecting! HURRAY!! Eric and I quickly grabbed bicycles, and
went along. It was a full moon, so thus very low tides, and we found
ourselves wading on a shallow coral shelf looking for small (1 cm) white
shells that hid themselves in small nooks and crannies in the coral. It was
slow going at first, but we soon got the hang of it, and were pulling these
small, unsuspecting creatures from their happy homes, and depositing them
into our 4 gallon jug that I'd tied to my shorts. After an hour, I think I
had about an inch of shells in the bottom of my jug.

Today, Lucy and I went back and collected again!

Not at all in line with the yoga book I'm now reading that espouses
vegetarianism and the importance of karma. Yikes.

Monday, August 15, 2011

A Typical Sunday

Yesterday was our fourth Sunday here in Kanton. Wow. Over three weeks
already. Not sure where the time has gone, but we're still having an amazing

So I thought I'd summarize a typical Sunday...

Today's church service was in Tiim's new house. They started the house
earlier in the week, and it is now mostly finished (building code is less
stringent here). We all assembled on mats of coconut fronds, and were able
to alternate between standing and sitting, which was a welcome relief from
the last few weeks with sitting room only. We're definitely not used to long
hours of sitting cross legged on the floor.
After the service, we relaxed with the parish, 13 people plus us 3, for tea
and chatting. Usually we get a bit of teasing about why we aren't singing
more. At least this week, we could sing one of the songs...it only had one
word - Hallelujah!

After tea, we quickly return to the boats to pick up our food, and I usually
change out of my church whites, into a more floor-coloured skirt. Then we
return with our food to the rusty warehouse, and settle in on the floor
where we chat for a few minutes while everyone assembles, or at least all
the men. John (not my John, rather, the teacher's husband) starts the
celebration with a welcome, the protestant priest provides a blessing, and
everyone claps three times to get started!

Us guests always eat first, as much as we've tried to delay! After we are
re-seated (with plate and spoon), the men attack the buffet table. The women
don't eat until all of the men are finished. This was a bit awkward at
first, but we're getting used to it. They also sit at the far end of the
warehouse, away from the circle formed by the men and guests, and seem to be
enjoying lots of laughs amongst themselves.

The buffet tables are heaped with food. All sorts of ramen. Who knew it was
possible to serve it in so many different ways? Here is a sample of this
- fried ramen with corned beef and greens
- boiled ramen with chicken seasoning
- ramen with salted fish
- ramen with pumpkin

I know. Ramen Heaven.

This week, we brought along some of my chocolate chip cookies. They were
slow to move. At first. After all...they don't have cookies here. Not in the
stores. Ever. So...they are a definite foreign object. But Davis started by
tasting one. And then started telling everyone how terrible they were - not
very convincing when he had just stacked four more on his plate. Well, that
did it. Soon, all the men had cookies heaped on their plate. Sheesh. I was
worried that there wouldn't be enough left by the time the women and
children had their turn at the table. But it worked out well. Those who
wanted to, had a chance to try the cookies. And we laughed as we watch some
families hoard a few cookies and take them home. I guess we know what to
make for next week's feast!!

Because no one works on the Sabbath - Sunday is a relaxed day. We often
witness long naps. Or movie marathons, on the one TV in the village. But
this week, the men brought together the guitars, and they sang together for
hours. It was wonderful. Multi-part harmonies. They even wrote down a few
lyrics so we could join in. Can't wait for next week...

A School Visit

This afternoon, Eric and I visited the school. We were treated to three
lovely songs by the children. One was "Do Your Ears Hang Low"!! It was
awesome! We also spent some time crowded around a big world map, and
identifying where Kiribati and Kanton were, as well as Canada and America.
Then we took the kids across to Takarai's house, where we started up the
generator, and showed them a slideshow of images from Canada and USA,
including our families, our homes, and scenes from BC and WA including some
of the local wildlife! It was a great afternoon.